PARIS: Let’s Get Soaking Wet

Every day, I say that we must get started earlier, but we never do. I don’t know why I bother trying. I’m not a morning person and I never will be. I thrive in the evening times and I’d rather leave in the afternoon than the morning. What’s to see out there anyway that can’t wait a few hours? Besides that, it doesn’t get dark in Paris until around ten o’clock at night. Even if you left in the late afternoon, you’d have a bizarre amount of light to see by.

Today we went off to the Bastille area to see my old streets in greater detail and to stop by the bakery across the street from my old apartment. Their bread isn’t the best, but their pastries are absolutely scrumptious. It took some time to get there from Clichy, though, so I read a book on my iPhone’s Kindle app.

I need to take a small diversion here to say how much I love ebooks. I was in Paris when I read my first ebook, reader, (this one here!) and it was a totally transformative experience. Since then, I’ve had a Sony ebook reader that was very attractive but very slow and a Kindle, which is basically flawless. AND, I’ve even released my own ebook, which you can download here! I love that little story I wrote, though if I were to go back, I’d change some vital things I said as I’m going to expand the narrative into a full length novel. Art is allowed to evolve, though, isn’t it?

Anyway, ebooks are such a blessing! They make train journeys absolutely fly. Before I downloaded the Kindle app on my ancient iPod Touch years and years ago, I had to carry actual books on the train! Imagine the exhaustion my wrists suffered from lugging around Swanson on Swanson by Gloria Swanson and the arsenal of knives that I needed for class!

Getting off the Métro at Bréguet-Sabin was like going home. The old area looks the same, but it’s become much more popular with the youths over the past five years. Loads of hipsters crowd into café’s and vinyl shops. Were hipsters even a thing five years ago? I think they must have been, but maybe they were still underground and not mainstream.

We bought our pastries and then scuttled back over to the Place des Vosges to devour them. I had an Opera cake, one of my favorite treats to pick up here in Paris. It’s layers of genoise soaked in coffee syrup, coffee buttercream, chocolate ganache, and more chocolate. It’s rich and decadent and always a treat. This one was particularly good!

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After we had gorged ourselves, we headed to the Rue des Rosiers, which I read is a very famous and well-known place to while away an afternoon, but I’ve never heard of it before this trip. It turned out to be a charming street full of couture shops, Jewish bakeries, and a falafel war. There were at least four different shops all on the same corner selling what they each considered to be the best and most authentic falafel of them all. I bought one from L’as Du Fallafel, which I have heard good things about.

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IMG_1974It was a bit of a challenge to eat, for sure, but it was awfully tasty, and one of the best falafels I’ve ever had. It had loads of falafel balls, which was a nice change from the ones that are mainly lettuce. It also had roasted eggplant, which was lovely.

At the end of Rue des Rosiers is Muji, a Japanese shop that I found in New York City earlier this year that I fell in love with. It sold the most wonderfully minimal housewares, clothing, and stationary. I wanted to pick up a new notebook, so we went there, but it was exclusively clothing. That was a bit of a disappointment. I was so disappointed that Jessica and I allowed ourselves to fall into a gorgeous bakery, the Café Pouchkine.

IMG_1979I bought a very expensive lemon tart that was prettier than it was delicious. But, it was in a lovely box and an even prettier bag, so I don’t have any regrets about the purchase.

The last stop of our journey today was the Promenade Plantée, an elevated garden that I kept a secret from Jessica until we reached it. She hates nature and walks and gardens and doing anything outdoors, so it was for the best that I didn’t inform her as to our destination.

If it was nearer to where I am right now, I’d be there all the time. I feel such a fool for not knowing anything about this wonderland when I lived right next to it. Funny how things like this happen.

The Promenade Plantée is like the High Line Park in New York City, which is a lovely place, but not super great. It’s pretty and all, but doesn’t seem really into itself, yet. The Promenade here in Paris is fully developed, though, and looks as if it’s been here for ages and wasn’t planted on top of an disused railroad twenty years ago. Also, the architecture is great to look at from this vantage point, so it’s a glorious way to pass an afternoon.

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IMG_1982“The practice of jogging in this area is tolerated only where it does not bother the walkers.” I love France.

After an enchanting time, the rain started to drizzle. Then it drizzled harder. Then it was a right downpour. We were quickly drenched and not very near to a Métro station…we were basically doomed. But we had to get out of the rain so we walked for what was surely a half a mile to the nearest stop. It was dreadful, reader. I’ve never been so fully saturated in my clothes.

When we finally descended into the dry safety of the Métro station, I felt rather like this:

I was sick to death of using the world’s dullest knife, so we stopped by Monoprix to pick a new one up. It was unreasonably pricy, but it cut through potatoes like they were made of air, so it was worth it in the end.

I was very wet. It was nice to dry off.

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